Removing Red Eye

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From my experience, red-eye is not a major problem with the Rebel XTi/400D. Typically, the problem occurs only in very dark lighting, which makes sense: When little ambient light is available, the pupils of the subjects' eyes widen, creating more potential for the flash light to cause red-eye reflection.

When red-eye does occur, take these steps to fix the problem:

1. In the main browser window, double-click the image thumbnail.

Again, Chapter 8 shows you how to get your images into the browser and keep track of your picture files.

After you double-click a thumbnail, the picture opens in its own Viewer window. Figure 10-1 offers a look at how the window appears in Windows; Figure 10-2 shows the Mac version.

Figure 10-1: In Windows, click the Edit list above the preview to access retouching tools.
Figure 10-2: On a Mac, the Edit list appears at the bottom of the window.

2. Open the Edit drop-down list, as shown in Figures 10-1 and 10-2.

The list appears above the image preview in Windows and below it on a


3. Choose Red Eye Correction from the Edit list.

Your photo appears in the Red Eye Correction retouching window.

Figure 10-3 shows the Windows version; Figure 10-4, the Mac version.

4. Zoom in on your photo so that you can get a good view of the eyes.

• In Windows: Zoom and scroll the display using the controls labeled in Figure 10-3, which work the same way as they do when you view your photo in the initial Viewer window. Chapter 8 details all the controls, but here's a quick reminder: The fastest way to zoom in and out is to drag the Zoom slider; to scroll the display, just drag in the Navigator window, which appears whenever the entire image isn't visible at the current preview size. Or click the Hand tool, labeled in Figure 10-3, and drag in the preview itself.

• On a Mac: Zoom by choosing a magnification level from the Display Size drop-down list, labeled in Figure 10-4, or by clicking the Zoom In and Zoom Out buttons. The Mac version of the retouching window does not sport a Navigator window — instead, you use the scroll bars to scroll the display.

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Hand tool Zoom slider Figure 10-3: Zoom in for a close look at the eyes.

Scroll bars

Display Size list Zoom Out

Zoom In

Scroll bars

Display Size list Zoom Out

Zoom In

Figure 10-4: On a Mac, use these controls to adjust the preview size.

5. Click the Manual Mode option.

Why not use Auto Mode? Because in that mode, the red-eye correction tool can sometimes trip up, "correcting" red pixels that aren't actually in the eye. You're better off using Manual Mode, which enables you to specify exactly where you want the program to do its retouching work.

6. In Windows, select the Red Eye tool, labeled in Figure 10-5.

The tool is ready to go if it appears highlighted, as in the figure. If not, click the tool icon. Mac users can ignore this step.

7. Position your mouse cursor over one of the red eyes.

If the program detects fixable red pixels, a green circle appears, as shown in Figure 10-5. The circle indicates the area that the tool will try to correct. As you move your cursor around the eye, the circle may change size as the program searches for pixels that meet its red-eye criteria.

8. Click to initiate the repair.

If you like what you see, move on to the next eye. Or click Undo to get rid of the correction and then try again.

9. After you finish all eye repairs, click OK.

The Red Eye Correction window closes, and your repaired photo appears in the Viewer window.

Red Eye tool

Figure 10-5: The little green circle indicates the eye area that will be replaced.

Red Eye tool

Figure 10-5: The little green circle indicates the eye area that will be replaced.

10. Save your picture in the TIFF file format.

The last section of this chapter provides details (and explains why you should use the TIFF format instead of JPEG).

Like most red-eye removal tools, the Canon version can do a good job in the right circumstances. But if the eyes are very bright, the tool may not be able to make the repair. The best solution is to simply paint in the correct eye colors. For that type of retouching, you need a more capable photo editing program; one (relatively) inexpensive yet powerful option is Adobe Photoshop Elements. You can take a look at that program in Chapter 8.

In addition, no red-eye remover works on animal eyes. Red-eye removal tools know how to detect and replace only red-eye pixels, and animal eyes typically turn yellow, white, or green in response to a flash. Again, the only answer is to make the repair with a paint tool.

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